log·wood (lôgwd′, lŏg-)
1. A spiny tropical American tree (Haematoxylum campechianum) in the pea family, having dark heartwood from which a dyestuff is obtained.
2. The heartwood of this tree.
3. The dye obtained from the heartwood of this tree, used to dye cloth purple or deep black.
[So called because in the 1500s and 1600s, the very hard heartwood of logwood was shipped in large quantities from Mexico and the Antilles to Europe in the form of debarked logs, which were then processed by rasping in Europe to satisfy the demand for a colorfast dyestuff that could produce the deep black color fashionable at the time.]
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